On October 11, 2023, DC Mayor Bowser signed a new law governing Washington, DC Landlord and Tenant Law called the Fairness in Renting Clarification Amendment Act of 2023. A copy of the Act can be found here. This law dictates that a landlord must give at least 60-days’ notice of any rent increase. It also limits rental application fees to a maximum of $50, prohibits a landlord from charging additional cleaning expenses, and limits other fees that might otherwise be charged.
Attorney Aaron Sokolow was quoted in the Washington Post in an article regarding a Washington, DC commercial landlord and tenant case. The column describes a pending commercial eviction case involving the District of Columbia and Union Station over a bicycle transit center. The story states, “Aaron Sokolow, an expert in District landlord-tenant disputes at the law firm Battino & Sokolow, said the suit could lead to the city being evicted unless officials present a strong defense. The vast majority of cases are settled outside of court, added Sokolow, who has biked by the Union Station building while headed to court.” You can read the article here.
Attorney Aaron Sokolow was recently quoted in a Bisnow article about the appeal decision involving real estate commissions in Washington, DC. The Court of Appeals overruled the lower court that previously held that the commission may not be due if a dual representation was not properly disclosed. The lower court strictly construed the technical requirements of the statute. The Court of Appeals took a more flexible approach. You can read the article here.
On Tuesday June 6th, 2023, the D.C. Council approved emergency legislation that will lower the caps on annual rent increases for Rent Control Year 2023 (5/1/23 to 4/30/24). The “Rent Stabilized Housing Inflation Protection Emergency Amendment Act of 2023” imposes a cumulative cap on annual rent increases for the 24-month period between 5/1/23 and 4/30/25 of 8% for elderly and disability tenants, and 12% for all other tenants. This means that if a landlord followed the Rental Housing Commission’s January 2023 determination and increased the rent by 8.9% (our original post on that determination can be found here), then next year’s increase can be no greater than 3.1% (i.e., 8.9 + 3.1 = 12.0).
There are other provisions in this new law regarding issuance of revised rent increase notices, as well as refunds of overpayments of rent increases.
Please give us a call to discuss these nuanced issues in detail.